tv [untitled] December 9, 2012 8:00am-8:30am PST
>> good evening and welcome to the december 5th, 2012 meeting of san francisco board of appeals. the presiding officer this evening is board president chris hwang who is engined by vice president frank fung, commissioner [a-ers/]ia hurtado and commissioner ann lazarus and welcome to our newest member commissioner honda. deputy [khr-frpb/] or city attorney will provide the board
with any needed legal advice and the legal process clerk and i'm cynthia goldstein and we're joined by departments scott sanchez here, the zoning administrator and also representing the planning department and planning commission. joseph dusty representing the department of building inspection, and department of would now like to, urban foresty. the board requests that you turn off longer devices so they will not disturb the proceedings. please carry on conversations in the hallway. appellants, permit-holders and department responds have seven presents to preponderant their case. people must include their comments with the 7 or 3-minute periods. members of public not affiliated with the partis have up to three minutes to address the board and no rebuttal.
please speak into the microphone. to assist the board in the proper notes you are asked to submit a speaker card when you come up to speak. the board welcome yours comments and suggestions. there are customer satisfaction forms on the podium for your convenience. if you have questions about requests a rehearing the board's rules or hearing schedules please speak to board staff during a break or after the meeting or call or visit the board office. this meeting is broadcast live on sfgovtv cable channel 78 and rebroadcast on friday's at 4:00 p.m. on channel 26. dvds of this meeting are available for purchase at sfgovtv. we'll know swear in and afiscal year all those who we are to testify this evening. if you wish to have the board
give your testimony evidenciary weight please stand, right your right hand and say i do after you having sworn-in or affirmed. any member of the public may speak without taking oath under the sunshine ordinance. do you settlemently swear or affirm that any testimony that you give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing, but the truth? >> i do. >> thank you. commissioners before we combinon the regular calendar, the jurisdiction request and two appeals dealing with the property at 390-392 corbett avenue and the parties requested that the item be moved. a vote of the board is needed to move the items. >> i will make that motion. >> so there is a motion to move all three of these items. is there any public comment on any of those items?
seeing none, for all three items, i'm going to call the roll jointly. vice president fung? >> aye. >> commissioner hurtado? >> aye. >> commissioner lazarus? >> aye. >> and commissioner honda? >> aye. >> thank you very much. and then regarding item 4b, this is a rehearing request of a tow car operator request the partis have jointly requested that this matter be rescheduled to the board's january 9th, 2013 calendar. we need a meigs in order to make that happen. >> is that based on what is on our calendar? is that an appropriate date versus the following week? >> i think either of those calendars would be equally heavy. >> okay. >> that is the date that parties have requested. >> i will make that motion. >> okay. >> move to continue to january
9th. >> okay, is there any public comment on that? >> seeing none, i will call the roll. vice president fung? >> aye. >> commissioner hurtado? >> aye. >> commissioner lazarus? >> aye. >> and commissioner honda? >> aye. >> thank you very much. and then the last housekeeping item choose to with item no. 10 on our calendar, which is appeal no. 12-130, that is dealing with property at 2065 oakdale avenue, the parties have requested that this matter be moved to the board's january 9th calendar. >> >> and in order to do that we need a motion. >> so moved >> second. >> thank you commissioner. is there any public comment on this item? seeing none, we'll call the roll in one minute.
is vice president fung? >> aye. >> president hwang? >> aye. >> commissioner lazarus? >> aye and commissioner honda? >> aye. >> so those items will be moved as requested by the parties. and going back to our regular calendar no. 1 is public comment for members of public who would like to speak on an item that is not on tonight's agenda. is there anyone who would like to speak under item no. 1? >> good evening president hwang, board members. mark ruberg with united taxi cab workers. i wanted to raise some concerns that i had in connection with the hearing that you held last month on our jurisdiction request. i don't want to re-argue the issue, which would be pointless, but i want to call
your attention to some troubling aspects of that hearing:instead it relied on a confidential city attorney's memorandum, which put us at a disadvantage. the mta got to see our arguments while we didn't get to see theirs. that was partially rectified when president hwang provided the memorandum and gave us an opportunity to address it and i thank her for that, but don't think that was a proper procedure. the memorandum itself raises a question. it was co-authored by mr. brian who advises this board and julia, who advises the mta, the mta being a party to the proceeding and as a result, i don't believe that you received independent and objective advoice on this issue. i think there should have been
a firewall between the advice entered to the counsel and this board and the meeting between the executive director and president of this board touching upon similar subject matter. we put in a public records request to the board and the mta requesting among other things records that of meeting or meetings and got nothing back in that record s. it plausible there was no documentation in relationship to those meetings or is that document again hiding behind the veil of attorney-client privilege? last i must note at the hearing that mta actually the director was allowed more than 10 additional minutes to explain the mta's position in response to questions from the president. we had only the initial three minutes allotted to each of the parties. i understand that at times board members may have questions for one party and not the other.
but these seem to be crucial concerns. they beg for a response from both sides and if i had had the opportunity i feel i could have answered every one of the director's points and then some. i want to make this clear. i don't think there was any conscious bias at work. i do think there is an unconscientious deference to authority. the opinion of cab drivers i have seen this time and again down through the years our thoughts, our opinions our arguments are simply not given enough attention or perhaps too arcane to be properly understood. i would hope -- he see my time is up. thank you. >> thank you. >> is there any other public comment under item no. 1?
seeing none, we'll move to item 2, which is commissioner comments and questions, commissioners? >> i have a comment and, in fact i just wanted to make sure that we appropriately welcomed commissioner honda to the board. it is a pleasure now to have all five of us sitting here and i have a few remarks to introduce commissioner honda. darryl honda is a native californian who lived in san francisco for over 35 years, attending school and working in a wide range of san francisco neighborhoods. commissioner honda is a realtor with over 14 years' of experience currently working at zephyr reality. he owned-and-operated a small business, the video rental store, in san francisco's sunset district. is he proud of his family's multi-cultural heritage, which includes his maternal grandfather who emigrated from the philippines and worked as a
fieldworker in california and his paternal grand forge who immigrated from japan to a big island or island of hawaii. commissioner honda's ken griffey, jr.ing activities include being a founding member of west side chinese democratic club and serving for nine years as an appointed member of california state assistance fund for enterprise business and industrial development corporation. he attend the academy of art college and san francisco community college. commissioner honda currently liveses with his family in san francisco's golden gate heights neighborhood/aka sunset. welcome and i appreciate the service that you will be providing and welcome. >> is there any other commissioner comments or questions? seeing none, is there any public comment on this item? seeing none, we'll move on to item no. 3, which is the
board's consideration and possible adoption of the meeting minutes of our november 14th, 2012 meeting. >> i will move their approval and adoption. >> thank you. is there any public comment on the minutes? seeing none, i will call the roll. vice president fung? >> aye. >> commissioner hurtado? >> aye. >> commissioner lazarus? >> aye. >> and commissioner honda? >> aye. >> the minutes are approved as written. so then we'll move on to our regular calendar item no. 4 a has been continued and 4b has been continued so we'll move on to item no. 5, this ch is appeal no. 12-129. pierre viping eau versus the department of public works, bureau of urban foresty, subject property at 1901 geary boulevard, protesting the issuance on october 3, 2012 to the recreation and park department of a permit to
remove 14 trees. this is dpw order no. 180717, on for hearing today and we would like to hear first from the appellant. >> ladies and gentlemen, good evening. >> sir, did you ask for assisted listening device? we have one available. >> that would be nice. thank you very much. did you get it? are you person? >> yes. >> thank you so much. >> you are welcome. >> hello, hello. sorry. >> that is okay. take your time. it should be on? is it not already on? >> good evening. >> can you hear me? is it working if you talk through the microphone?
>> i hear much better. good evening, ladies and gentlemen. i am here tonight and you probably have in front of you the pages that i have presented in which i was explaining my objection to the removal of a few trees. originally i intended to try to protect the 4 trees, but after an explanation and review with a friend of mine, who experienced in trees i finally reduced my intention to only one tree, which is called a ficus. which is located on across 1321. this tree is really beautiful, and any person that i told this tree was going to be removed
told me why? why it is it a threat? it's a beautiful tree. probably 30 years old. it's very big, the trunk is bigger than my two arms. i think it should not be removed because it's sad for me and other persons the thought to remove a tree. mainly it does -- i believe that this tree's trunk is extremely strong. everyone was trying to distract my attention that maybe a limb would fall, be torn, but even if it does happen it does not present any danger of hurting anybody, because it could fall maybe on the day of temptest or storm and when there is a storm, usually the people are not in that area. the second thing is that i have asked mr. mauer here to try to
show me -- i support that they wanted to remove this tree because it might be in the way of projected work, which are going to be done on the park. >> mr. vigneau, please address the board. i would prefer you to give your comments to the board and mr. mauer will speak after. >> okay. well, i believe that this tree should not be cut, please. many, many persons who live in the area told me that this tree should not be cut also. it seems that there is no reason, no sound and indispensable reason to remove it. that is the only explanation i can give you and i wish also and i don't know at what point
you persons will make your decision, but it would be nice if i were aware of an explanation, but it would be nice and it would be a good idea if any of you would be passing by and look at that. i am also sure you would have the same feeling that i did and like many other persons of the neighborhood, too. thank you. >> thank you. >> why don't you hold onto those so you can hear the rest of the comments? >> thank you. >> mr. mauer. >> good evening board members, dawn mauer with the recreation and park project manager. this particular project is one of our 2008 park renovation projects.
a a year and a half ago we looked at the entire park as an entire element and part of that review and evaluation process we consulted with arbor firms. 14 as part of the permit i applied to dpw was included. at that point in time as soon as we engaged in the public right-of-way, i contacted the bureau of urban forest and met with their staff. james diviny and i walked the site and conferred with the tree removes. as part of the that process we have engaged with the community through a public process and also had a hearing with the department of public works on appeal of the tree removal permit prior. it was deemed that the tree
removals were appropriate at that time and so we're here before you to ask for your approval to move that permit forward. as part of the project we're proposing to move 14 street trees and replace those in-kind with 36" size box trees as part of the review process with the bureau of urban forest we identified areas for replacement. the one tree in question that we're talking about here is a fig tree. it is a beautiful tree and, as much as i would love parks, removing trees isn't what i am out to do, but when we have safety concerns at-hand, we have to make sure we're doing the right thing. after talking to carla short and her staff it was determined based on their examination that particular fig tree should come out. a major limit failed and at that point there has been decay occurring and i'm not an expert in this area, but there
is, i guess a bacteria or fungal material that is causing the tree long-term harm. so it was recommended that this particular tree be removed in addition, to the other as part of this park project. i would be happy to answer any questions that you may have. >> are any of the pictures -- i believe this is your submission? >> that was the brief. >> are there any photographs that you can point to that would help us, help me see the site of the decay where the failure took place? >> again, i haven't climbed the tree and looked myself, but if you look at the horizontal picture of the tree it comes up to 6' and there are multiple branches coming off that, which
is poor structure having multiple branches from one point is a weak point for branches. so the picture that you see here that i will put on overhead. this is looking down into the crouch of the tree, where the branches emerge. the decay is actually happening at the weak point of connection for all of those branches. >> could you put that on the overhead, please? >> absolutely. >> so if you could point to the part of the tree that broke off? i think i see it, but i just want you to confirm it for me. >> there is one image and this area here is part of the previous failure that occurred. >> okay. >> see the cavity that is created here, the interior? so the branch basically fell out of this area, creating the cavity. >> so that branch, was that
branch diameter the same as the other ones? are those sort of extensions of tree -- i don't know if that is called a branch. >> it's called a branch. >> was it as large as the other ones? >> i'm not sure, this was reported back to me by miss short's staff. >> maybe i will just save those questions for her. >> thank you. >> mr. mauer, will your department have sufficient budget to maintain the new trees? >> so the unique thing about this particular park is half the trees -- it's a city block, so two streets are actually maintained by rec and park and our staff will maintain the trees after we put them in. two of the other streets i believe steiner and ellis are part of the dpw infrastructure and i say that in quotes a little bit because it's
recreation and park garden staff maintains curb to curb in those instances. the true responsibility relies in two departments, but the reality is that parks and recreation garden staff will maintain the trees overtime. this is part of the clean neighborhood, $3.3 million to address this and other park improvements. >> thank you. >> good evening commissioners carla short, department of public works urban forestry. i don't really have anything to add to what dan said, but we did indicate this trees a tree appropriate for removal based on the recent limb failure and the presence of decay already.
we're already seeing the signs of decay. the limb -- i didn't see it when it came off the tree as well, but based on what remains and i will switch photos on the overhead. basically this area is that limb that failed. so it does appear that it was probably a similar size to the other limbs, which is very typical for this species. they have a form that is not ideal. it's called decurrent. so they have multiple limits that emanate from the trunk at one point. the problem is it's more prone to limb failure inherently because of that form but once you have a limb failure, what we see is multiple failures after that. because the tree is now weakened at the union of all of those branches. so it is a beautiful tree. i am very sympathetic to mr.
vigneau and i had previously worked with him to keep trees on the monitoring system when we had previous tree removals. i think we have an opportunity with the renovation of the park to get additional street trees planted, 10 additional trees and a one for one replacement of the 14 trees and given that we have seen one limb failure already and decay in that union where those other limbs emanate from, we felt this tree should be removed. >> i have a question. this may not be -- you may not be able to answer this, but what is the likelihood of the other limbs failing? i understand that you have seen that happen before, but i don't know if you could quantify how likely that is. >> we can't quantify, but i can say this specie is prone to limb failures and once a limb fails, it's often we see limb
failure, but we can't give a quantification. >> are there other trees -- i think and i am happy to be corrected when limb failures have happened and perhaps other species or even this type of tree, is it a single limb failure sufficient to warrant the cutting down of this entire tree? >> well, in this case -- >> you know what i am saying? >> yes. >> there are many other pieces of this tree that look pretty solid and strong by my naked eye, but i'm not an expert and i would like to hear from you on that. >> limb failure would not justify the removal of most trees, but with this specie and where this limb failure occurred it's increasing the likelihood we will have additional limit failures.
it's strong at the trunk and i agree with that assessment, but these are substantial limbs and when they break off, they can cause substantial damage. hopefully no one is there during storms. people are not often out, but people still drive during storms. so i would say because this limb failed at the union, because we are already seeing decay at the union, and in some cases we don't see decay right way, we would not jump to the conclusion to remove the tree. but this particular failure tore out at that main union and we're seeing decay going into the trunk and it's weakening the trunk below the other limbs. >> so what is time period for decay? >> even healthy limbs break
off with this specie because of structural weaknesses of the current form. so i can't predict that. >> and the replacement trees, can you describe them? it may have been described in the materials, but what is the size of the replacement trees . 36" box for the 14 trees that have been approve for removal and replacement and i don't know, would the additional 10 be 36" box? >> most likely. >> okay, thank you. >> what species? >> the species hasn't been identified yes. blackwood acacia has weak spots and i will deferring to the landscape architect with dpw and garden staff and bureau of urban forestry what is best tree for that location. >> your brief indicated that the species would